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MLS denies Sacramento expansion bid finalized

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno says a merger between MLS and Liga MX will not work because of the huge structural differences of the sport in the United States.

Major League Soccer has denied a report on Thursday that Sacramento, California is set to land the eventual 29th team in the league.

Earlier on Thursday, CBSSports.com cited a source saying it was "100 percent done" that California's capital city was set to be granted an expansion MLS team.

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St. Louis was awarded a franchise in the league last month, with the club to begin play in 2022. The CBSSports.com report had indicated that the Sacramento franchise would also start that year.

However, MLS issued a statement that read: "Contrary to the erroneous report at CBSSports.com, Major League Soccer has not finalized an agreement to bring an expansion team to Sacramento. We remain in advanced discussions with Ron Burkle and Matt Alvarez regarding a team for Sacramento, and we will share more details at the appropriate time."

In addition to St. Louis, three other cities have been awarded an MLS franchise while not yet taking the field. Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will enter the league in 2020, with those two teams taking part in the expansion draft on Nov. 19 this year. Austin FC will debut in 2021.

MLS commissioner Don Garber already has expressed his desire for a 30-team league. Other potential cities for an MLS franchise, according to numerous media reports, include Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Detroit, Raleigh, San Diego and Indianapolis.

Sacramento Republic FC plays in the second-tier USL with an agreement earlier this year to have a controlling interest purchased by Burkle, a Los Angeles businessman and Pittsburgh Penguins part owner.

A 22,000-seat stadium is in the works near downtown Sacramento, with construction likely to begin next year.

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